Red tape and employment costs hold back SME job growth

Research on behalf of QualitySolicitors suggests that despite continued job growth confirmed in today’s employment statistics, economic recovery is being held back by employers concerns over red tape and employment costs.

A survey of SME firms conducted by law firm network QualitySolicitors found that a half of them were planning to create new jobs in the next six months. However, four in ten SME leaders said the extra costs associated with taking on extra staff were discouraging them from recruiting while almost a quarter (23%) cited red tape as a deterrent.

In the research, conducted in April this year, SME leaders were asked to identify the issues which were putting them off employing more staff.  Other factors discouraging job growth were the problems of finding the right person (28%) and the costs of training a new employee (22%).

John Baden Daintree of QualitySolicitors said:

“Optimism of the SMEs we surveyed is encouraging, but it is clear that growth is being held back by concerns over labour costs and the bureaucracy and hassle of finding, engaging and training new staff. An experienced employment lawyer can help steer business owners through the legal maze. The costs – both financial and social - of leaving people in the dole queue are enormous, so at QualitySolicitors we will do everything we can to help, with a miniguide to employing new staff, free initial telephone advice and straightforward affordable support. The challenge for policymakers and Government is to do everything possible to reduce the burdens and risks to help our most successful businesses to expand. 

For more information on recruiting staff, see our top tips.


Notes to Editors

  • Researchers commissioned by QualitySolicitors interviewed 250 SME leaders during April 2014.

About QualitySolicitors:

  • Launched in 2010, QualitySolicitors is a group of law firms across the country working as part of the QualitySolicitors brand. Only one firm per local area is selected to become a QualitySolicitors partner. Customer feedback forms an integral part of the selection process.
  • QualitySolicitors’ national network of lawyers consists of over 100 branches across England and Wales.
  • QualitySolicitors lawyers are experts in their fields dealing with both consumer and SME legal matters. QualitySolicitors offers a personal, local service but with the assurance of a recognised national brand.
  • QualitySolicitors’ website address is
  • In 2011 QualitySolicitors secured equity investment from Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity house with a £700m fund.

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